And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18
As we have gone through our “Building a Healthy Church” series, I have been able to have some good conversations with several people. Living in right relationships is so important in the life of the church. Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 18:15-18 are so vital for maintaining healthy and holy relationships. Going to a brother (or sister) who is in sin (or possibility going down the wrong pathway) is so important. I hope you have come to understand that it isn’t legalistic or judgmental but rather can be the most loving thing you can do for him or her. Private discussions can be so effective in helping somebody see their sin and turn from the sin. Yes, it is both hard to go to a person and it can be hard when somebody comes to you in regards to something you are doing. The key is to go in love and to go with grace. Sometimes there is simply a misunderstanding and by going alone, the matter can be explained and everything ironed out for the glory of God.
I believe that God wants every broken relationship within the body (church) to be restored. I know some think that is just wishful thinking. The truth is, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are indwelt with the Holy Spirit. While the restoration of a broken relationship might seem impossible, nothing is impossible for God. It might require some humility. It will require some forgiveness and some prayer. Sometimes, it requires some other brothers or sisters coming along side to help with the restoration.
The instructions about taking one or two others with you and then taking it to the church is all about loving the wayward person (lost sheep) and not allowing them to continue in their sin, hide, or run away without seeking to help them see their need for repentance. The ultimate goal is always restoration. Again, Galatians 6:1-2 specifies, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” As we gather with our families for Thanksgiving and Christmas, we most often enjoy our times with our families. Most of us have experienced the hard ache of conflict within our families. Well, Jesus died for each member of the church and we bring Him glory as we live and serve within right relationships with one another. As such, you should take the initiative in seeking reconciliation with any one in this body with whom there is conflict. If there is somebody who might be able to serve as a mediator between you and the other person, why don’t you seek their assistance today?
This past week we highlighted the fact that healthy churches make prayer a priority. I feel convicted about my personal prayer life and how often I am distracted from prayer. I also feel convicted about the corporate prayer life of the church. When we use to have a monthly prayer time for our “ones” we wanted to see saved, there was only a handful who participated. We only have a handful participating on our prayer time on Wednesday evenings. I want to encourage you to join us for prayer on Wednesday evenings at 6:30PM. If we want God to use our church to impact this community, we must become a praying people who minister in God’s power. Apart from God, we can do nothing (John 15:5).
Next Tuesday (Nov. 15th) will be the KBC annual meeting. After that meeting, there will be a new KBC President. I appreciate the opportunity you have provided me to serve as the KBC President this year. I would also appreciate your prayers for Tuesday as I will be moderating the annual meeting and will be preaching at 9:50AM. Thank you so much for your prayers and frequent encouragement!